Why Is Appreciation Such a Big Issue for Caregivers?

By Robert D. Liken CPC, CTS, President

June 20, 2018

Many caregivers start to feel unappreciated and that can lead to serious dissatisfaction with the entire caregiving process. But why is a lack of appreciation such an urgent need for so many caregivers and what can you do about it?

Home Care in Cranberry Twp PA: Caregiver Appreciation
Home Care in Cranberry Twp PA: Caregiver Appreciation

You Feel Unwanted
One of the biggest reasons that appreciation becomes such a big issue for caregivers is that you know you’re needed, but you don’t necessarily feel wanted. This is huge because you’re spending a lot of time, effort, and energy on helping your senior. To feel unwanted feels as if you’re doing this for nothing and that your aging family member would rather you weren’t there. That’s a painful feeling.
Keep Your Senior’s Situation in Mind
It can help if you keep your senior’s situation in mind. She may have gone from a situation in which she’s able to take care of herself quite well to needing you or elderly care providers to drive her to the store when she needs to go. That kind of change can be really difficult to handle and it often makes people take those feelings out on the people that they love. Being dependent on other people is not easy.
Learn to Appreciate Yourself
Learning to appreciate yourself and what you do can help you to change your perspective. Keep a list of your own accomplishments and give yourself a high five when you write down each new one. Establish a reward system of sorts for yourself. Each time you hit a specific landmark, let yourself enjoy the reward you earned. If you’re still finding it difficult to be your own cheerleader, it can help to talk to a therapist who can help you get to that point.
Remember that Appreciation Isn’t the End Goal
Something else that might help could be to remind yourself that you’re not doing this to get all the appreciation cookies. There’s a specific task at hand, specifically taking great care of your elderly family member. When you can shift your focus to remember that you’re there for a definitive purpose, lack of obvious appreciation can become far less important to you in your daily life.
When you do so much for someone that you love, it hurts to feel as if that effort is unappreciated or wasted on your part. This is something that you’ll have to get past as a caregiver and it might pop up from time to time as you continue the journey. Having a coping mechanism you can turn to helps quite a bit.

If you are considering Home Care in Cranberry Twp, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Liken Home Care. Call (412) 693-6820 or (855) 856-0551.